Friday, November 30, 2007

A POST FROM HEAVEN—well, near heaven.

This post is being composed at 34,000 feet above—well, I think North Carolina—as I head from Washington, DC, to Atlanta, Georgia. I’m traveling with Pastor Kenneth Barney of Baltimore’s dynamic and enormous New Antioch Baptist Church. We’re on our way to a historic gathering of African American Pro-Life activists. (I’m an honorary attendee, since I don’t quite qualify for official membership!)

(The parenthetical comment above begs another little sidebar: Some years ago I had a staff member who was white, but she was born in Africa. She still carried her native passport. My chief administrative assistant at the time was a black woman whose family had been in the US for many generations. The two got into a spirited but jovial debate over who really qualified as an “African American!” It was never resolved!)

Sponsored by LEARN (The Life, Education and Resource Network), the two-day event includes a panoply of speakers, musicians, medical professionals and church leaders. Among those on the program will be noted author and mega-church pastor Wellington Boone of The Father’s House in Norcross, Georgia. Well-known jazz hymnist Philippe Fields will give a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King. Dr. King’s niece, Dr. Alveda King, will be there. She’s a tireless campaigner on behalf of post-abortive women. Pastor Barney and I will have platform time as well.

The founding national director of LEARN is dear, dear friend to my brother, Paul, and me, the Reverend Dr. Johnny Hunter. Johnny and his wife Pat have been very big parts of our lives and ministries for nearly 20 years. We’ve been through thick and thin together; I’d like to say to the gates of Hell and back! We’ve shared many experiences together: on our knees crying out to God, tag-team preaching in pulpits, leading prayer vigils on sidewalks in front of abortion mills, done jail time together for saving babies and their mothers, and even shared more than one podium in the United States Capitol!

There are few people with whom I share such a deep brotherhood. Johnny is like a triplet to my twin brother and me. (To use a hackneyed joke: He likes to say he’s the black sheep of our family!) But there are also few people I respect as much as Johnny. He’s gone where angels fear to tread. Taking a passionate pro-life message into the realm of prominent black churches is challenging enough, yet Johnny’s done far more. God has used him to mobilize large numbers of black pastors, some of whom lead their people right to Hell’s door. It’s astounding how many of the pastors Johnny has reached out to now take their people to pray, witness and minister outside the doors of abortion businesses. As a result many women, babies and men have been saved—spiritually and physically!

Please take time to learn about LEARN. This is the breakthrough in the minority community for which so many have prayed for so long. Minorities, especially African Americans, have a moral platform white folk just don’t have. The LEARN conference will be broadcast live over the Internet at beginning tonight, Friday, November 30, 2007, 7:00 PM and tomorrow, Saturday, December 1, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. For a rebroadcast schedule visit

Please pray for Pastor Johnny Hunter and the good people with LEARN. And pray for Pastor Barney and me as we work to support and strengthen them.

Back with more . . .

Monday, November 26, 2007


We’re back in the saddle after a much needed Thanksgiving break. Our ministry center closed down last Tuesday as a bonus to our tired team. They had worked overtime and over the weekend on two big events: The 25th Anniversary Silver Celebration gala and the dedication ceremony for our front garden—where the Ten Commandments are displayed. It’s now the newly christened Cora Bieber Memorial Garden on Capitol Hill.

I didn’t get out of town until late Wednesday night. Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons I remotely guest hosted my friend Adam McManus’s daily talk radio show, Adam McManus Live! broadcasted out of San Antonio, Texas on KSLR. Over the years I’ve been a frequent guest of Adam’s. His is one of the most professionally produced shows of its kind in the country. While it’s getting tougher to take on extracurricular assignments like this one, I do enjoy Adam and his audience. Until I did these “gigs,” I could not appreciate the considerable mental and physical energy required to keep a three-hour talk show format going. Hats off to all the many hosts I’ve taken for granted all these years. You people really do work very, very hard!

On Tuesday’s program I was alone in the borrowed studio just a couple of blocks from our ministry center. (In case you’re wondering, it’s in the nearby Heritage Foundation building.) Sitting here in Washington in front of a microphone, I may as well be in San Antonio. The listeners there hear no difference. I am always deeply appreciative to Adam’s production staff in Texas and the local studio personnel. They keep me on track by barking directions to me through my headphones and on the computer screen!

Wednesday I had with me my old friend, Charles Nestor, whom I mentioned in last week’s post. Charles and his wife, Belinda, were here for our 25th Anniversary Gala. We got talking afterwards about his Operation Nativity, an effort to remind Americans of the true reason for the Christmas season. Charles retired from being a very successful pastor after he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but that’s hardly put him out of business. He remains one of America’s great preachers and Bible teachers. He’s also senior fellow for public policy at the National Clergy Council and, of course, is spearheading this new initiative in promoting Christmas nativity scenes on private property. We talked about Operation Nativity for two hours on Wednesday’s broadcast, fielding lots of interesting phone calls. I think you can listen to the archived broadcasts as

As a result of our Thanksgiving Day appeal, my brother, Paul, and I received hundreds of praise reports from all over the country. With them came an equal number of prayer requests. We now have over 32,000 supporters from all 50 states and several foreign countries. This year we will have mailed almost 3 million letters and 1.5 million E-mails to our growing ministry family. As we continue to increase in size, we don’t want to decrease in our depth of friendship with you. I promise you—you will never become simply a database record number here! You are a friend, a brother or sister in Christ and literally God’s lifeline to us! That’s why we invited you to send in your praise and thanksgiving reports over the holiday, so we can join in thanking God with you and for you.

Please keep in touch. We’re certainly grateful for your generous financial support and prayers for this ministry. One way to express our gratitude to the Lord and to you is to join you in prayer—in the good times and the bad. Please always feel free to send us your prayer requests and praise reports. We’re your extended family in Washington, DC!

Thank you—and thank God for you!

More later . . .

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Great and Memorable Anniversary

I’m not often caught short for words, but I am in describing how wonderful this past Saturday was for my brother, Paul, and me, our families and our ministry team. Nearly 350 friends packed the ballroom of the Washington Renaissance Hotel for an evening of good food, fellowship and challenge as Paul and I celebrated 25 years of unbroken Christian service.

Just walking into that elegantly decorated room made obvious all the very, very hard work done by our co-chairs, Faith and Action supporters Wayne and Melissa Newsome, and, of course, our dedicated staff team led by Peggy Birchfield. Joining them were many, many volunteers. What a table they set!

Perhaps you were there to hear the fabulous 60–voice New Antioch Baptist Church choir ensemble. They lit up the place! So did our long-time friend Pat Mahoney, the most energetic, entertaining and edgy MC we’ve engaged for an event like this. Pat was perfect—and hilarious!

Our speakers were dynamic and exceedingly generous in their comments about Paul and me and the ministries we’ve led. Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and one of the top constitutional lawyers in America (and around the world), spoke very kindly about our partnership over the last twenty years. Dr. Charles Nestor, one of the truly great pulpiteers left in this country, reflected on the 30 years we’ve walked together. (I say that with every bit of irony, because Charles doesn’t do much walking now. His body is bound to a wheelchair by MS, but his spirit is unquenchable!) Charles was as electrifying as ever once his elevated automatic chair brought him back to the sacred desk!

Others who spoke Saturday evening included pro-life champion Fr. Frank Pavone, senior United States Senator Orrin Hatch, Ambassador from Morocco Aziz Mekouar, Christian philanthropist and radio talk show host Steve Peroutka, former Navy chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt (who fought a victorious battle for the rights of chaplains to pray in Jesus’ name) and Pastor Kenneth Barney of the New Antioch church. Somebody said it well at the end of the night, “You held a dinner and church broke out!”

Speaking of church, we had plenty of churches represented in the room. Many of our supporting churches were there; congregational representatives from New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and Utah, just to name a few of their home bases.

And there were plenty of old and new friends who lead great ministries themselves: Wendy Wright of Concerned Women of America, Bill Murray of Religious Freedom Coalition, Joe Griebowski of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, Johnny Hunter of Life, Education and Resource Network, and precious Norma McCorvey, the once and former “Jane Roe” of the infamous Roe v. Wade case. Today, Norma is a tireless champion of the Gospel of Life!

A few other notables who joined us Saturday:

- Dr. Jim Hutson, premiere U.S. historian and top authority on Jefferson and the truth about the so-called “Separation of Church and State.”

- Rev. Pierre Bynum, pastoral ministry coordinator at the Family Research Council

- Harry Valentine of Capitol Hill Prayer Alert

- Ohio Judge Randy Rogers whose book, From the Bench, tells heartwarming stories of adoption miracles from his own courtroom.

- World War II hero General Mil Roberts, who stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day, surviving against incredible odds to penetrate deep behind enemy lines.

Paul and I will never be able to say enough to thank so many for making one night so memorable. But as I said in my short remarks afterwards, “it’s nice to look back, but it’s always challenging to look forward. It’s not so much what’s gone before, but what lies ahead that concerns us.”

Capital Club financial supporters will soon receive a CD compilation of Paul’s and my messages at the anniversary gala, together with the other speakers and photos from this special evening. Others will be able to order it online or obtain it for a contribution by calling 202-546-8329, extension 104. You’ll also see it at our materials table when I’m out in speaking in churches.

Thank you for making this first quarter-century possible through your prayers, friendship and partnership. I keep saying over and over, we couldn’t do what God has called us to do if you didn’t faithfully do what God has called you to do. God willing and delaying Jesus’ return, Paul and I now embark on our next quarter-century and longer. There’s still so much work to do!

Be back later . . .

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

It sounds obnoxious to many non-New Yorkers, but the phrase, “You have no idea!” fills my childhood memories. Mom said it a lot—still uses it, though she doesn’t talk much these days. I still find it useful, but after 13 years as a resident of Northern Virginia (we live 35 miles east of Washington, DC), it’s beginning to wear off.

I used it here to get your attention. I want you to know that “you have no idea” how important you are to my brother, Paul, and me and our ministry team! Because you do what God has called you to do, we’re able to do what God has called us to do. It’s that simple. It takes a team to do ministry; not one or two, or even three or four, but a whole team, to get it done.

In just 10 days, Paul and I will host our ministry’s 25th anniversary Silver Celebration here in Washington. (I hope you’ll be with us! You can still get tickets—and very cheap rooms. Visit for details!) When I think of the people who will be in that banquet hall on November 17, I am speechless. I wonder sometimes why they’ve been so generous with their time, talent and treasure. Then I realize it has nothing whatsoever to do with us or our ministry. All these friends are the provision of God to get HIS WORK done on this earth. God is the great chess master—developing His strategy and lining up His moves long before any of this enters our minds.

As we approach the Silver Celebration gala, my mind goes to a car ride with Ed Schoonmaker in 1977. I was in Bible college. Ed was probably in his fifties; I was still a kid. We talked theology, ministry and life. He handed me a check for $1000 towards the work I was doing then. It laid the groundwork for what would eventually lead to the ministry we have today. These 31 years later, Ed and his precious wife, Marian, still send us financial support, including a recent check for $1000. It’s more precious to me now than it was then—and that’s saying a lot!

I think about Dr. Dave Martinke and his family. Dave was still in medical school when he first sent us support. He later volunteered for various ministry outreaches we did. Then, he virtually gave himself to leading and developing our international work through Operation Serve; not only funding much of it, but training short-term missionaries, supervising the work in the field and developing an overall strategic plan. Dave was the first to accompany me on my fact-finding visit to Washington, DC, in 1994. He and his wife, Daryl, remain among our most faithful prayer and financial supporters.

There’s Pastor Myke Crowder of Layton, Utah’s amazing Christian Life Center. Myke’s been flying back and forth from Utah to Washington ever since we got started here on Capitol Hill. He and his wife Marsha and their wonderful church have backed us financially since our very first endeavors here. I’m often in his pulpit to give a report from the field. What can you say about that kind of generosity and faithfulness? I can’t find the words.

The list goes on and on and on. The night of November 17 there will be people present who have gone to the gates of hell and back with us for the cause of Christ and His Gospel:

. . . Pastor Johnny Hunter, our dear, dear brother and friend—one of the first African-American church leaders to take on the cause of Life, and he has paid dearly for it.

. . . Rev. Pat Mahoney, who is always there for us—and with us, even in the really dangerous moments; when we feel like crying, Pat always makes us laugh! (And he’ll do plenty of it November 17!)

. . . Mike and Steven Peroutka, whose enormous selflessness and generosity pay completely for our National Pro-Life Action Center. What can we say?

. . . Don and Gayle Wright, whose giving of themselves and their resources knows no end.

. . . Wayne and Melissa Newsome, the most selfless, invisible and kind financiers of God’s work you will ever meet.

. . . Christ and Dolly Lapp (yes, that’s how he spells it!), quiet, unassuming, never letting their right hand know what their left hand is giving—and it’s doing a lot of giving!

. . . Bernie and Lee Reese: You name the Christian endeavor in this country, and it’s got their fingerprints all over it!

. . . Fr. Frank Pavone—with us since the very first National Memorial for the Pre-born in 1994 and still with us in every way; as if Fr. Frank doesn’t have too much to do running America’s largest pro-life organization!

. . . Dr. Charles Nestor, a genius and one of the greatest pulpiteers in American church history. Now bound to a wheelchair with MS, Charles remains our stalwart friend and companion in all we do. (What did he see in two baby-faced teenage preachers those 32 years ago?)

The list could go on and on and on, filling more space than I have here. You are on the list, and we are more grateful for you than words can ever tell.

Thank you for all you do for the Lord, for His work and for us. There will never be enough time this side of eternity to say adequate thanks.